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Adam Engst
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The question, as always, is if crowdsourcing will add value or not. With books, I'm dubious, not because there's anything wrong with crowdsourcing, but because books entail significant amounts of effort and attention, and my experience is that essentially no readers are willing to provide that these days. Sure, you might get someone who submits a few corrections, or sends email arguing with a particular point, but notable changes that would actually add enough value to a book for it to be saleable on its own as a new title? In my 20+ years in the technical publishing world, I've never seen that happen (though I was very happy when an MIT grad student voluntarily tech edited one of my books about the Internet, and made a ton of great, if minor, comments). For there to be a major new work to be created in this fashion, I think you'd need a single person - the marketing guru in your example - who was willing to put in the kind of effort necessary. That's interesting, but it's also not crowdsourcing, it's relying on the motivated individual. For crowdsourcing to make a real difference, we'd need a platform that makes remixing content from books easy, much as Wikipedia provided the platform for many individuals to contribute to the overall work in very small ways. Without that platform (and without a publisher built around the concept of crowdsourcing, such that they'd be happy to waive copyright), I can't see it happening. cheers... -Adam
Yep, this is a good idea, and one we've implemented with Take Control Books since multiple formats became important. There's an Ebook Extras button on the cover (and embedded in the text) of every one of our ebooks; clicking it enables the reader to download other formats, get updates to the book, and so on. It works regardless of where the book has been purchased, so brings in readers who have found us on Amazon or the iBooks Store, for instance. cheers... -Adam
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Nov 24, 2014